Three months to “D” (Dragon) Day

7 06 2012

It is never too late to teach old dog new tricks. Here are the things I have learnt in the last few weeks: 1.  What matters in a training programme is not how you manage when things are going well, but how you manage when things are going badly. 2.  Large gaggles (pl noun?) of […]

It is never too late to teach old dog new tricks. Here are the things I have learnt in the last few weeks:

1.  What matters in a training programme is not how you manage when things are going well, but how you manage when things are going badly.

2.  Large gaggles (pl noun?) of muscle bound men in sweaty gyms are, despite the testosterone banter and formidable appearance, quite nice really, even when asked by a weedy old woman to move … please.

3.  Single parents are heroic.

So to begin with the most important of the three;
Respect ….to all the single parents out there. It’s only 2 weeks that I’ve been a single parent and the end is in sight. Unlike most single parents I know, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Someone will be coming to take over at some point and give me a breather. I will be able to go for a run without sourcing a baby sitter. I will be able to have an evening catching up with emails, phone calls and my friends.

I now know if I need a job doing I will give it to a single parent. They are adept at “fitting things in”, and manage to get things done despite not having any time to do it in. They are organised as they have managed to sort out “the essential” from “the desirable”. They should be running the country, NATO and sorting out Afghanistan. These unsung heroes really know how to make it all happen.

Helene Whitaker Dragons Den athleteRunning has been on a back burner whilst my foot settles after the injury. This is just as well. The logistics involved in getting out for a run would make a warship commander weep. Hence my time spent in a gym, yes, one of those horrors with all that scary fresh air replaced with the safe air conditioned variety. Complete with pumping music and TV’s … why? I am there to sweat not watch the news. I found that at 6.30 am not many people go, in particular those intimidating men with tattoos and frighteningly tight lycra. They tend to accumulate after work – doing what? Eating small children?? After the initial pulse raising request for “my turn”, my feeling of being a small child in a big school playground receded as I found they were indeed nice people, after all.

So with only 3 months to go and nearly 8 weeks out of running, I am now tentatively back on the hill, just in time to scare small flocks of fluffy yellow spotty Grouse chicks. Now doesn’t that just make all the hard gym work worthwhile?

So it should just about be possible to get to the start line of the Dragon’s Back race, it will just hurt a lot more, oh and my new best mates on the metal pumping machines will get you if you don’t let me win.

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  • Melanie

    Just reading your blogs for the first time. I am a marshal (chief tent person!). Can’t wait to meet you and provide you and all the other amazing competitors great accommodation and support over the next week! I am simply honored to be part of the behind the scenes, making your grueling experience just a little bit better and safer.